General Introduction

In order to locate the churches of Greece with façades being decorated with immured clay vessels and to record these vessels, aiming at an analytical documentation and the preservation of the related material in a common database, the research programme “Immured vessels in Byzantine and Post-Byzantine churches of Greece: An online corpus” was initiated by the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation and with the collaboration of respective Ephorates of Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The programme started in 2011 and is still in progress.

Coordinator of the programme is Anastasia G. Yangaki, senior researcher of the Institute of Historical Research.

The programme was initiated with the approval of Professor Taxiarchis Kolias, Director of the Institute of Historical Research, and with the support of Dr. Anna Lambropoulou, Director of Research and scientific coordinator of the broader research programme of the Institute “Historical Geography of the Greek Region”.

Originally the programme focused on the identification, recording and documentation of immured vessels in churches of Attica, the Peloponnese and Crete in collaboration with the respective Ephorates of Antiquities. It has already been planned that the other areas of Greece will be incorporated in the research, too.

A detailed description of the programme, a brief overview of the history of the research on immured vessels in churches of Greece and of other areas in the Mediterranean, as well as a relevant detailed bibliography, are presented in the following pages.

Access to the database is at present limited to partner members only. However, within the framework of the 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies, held in Heraklion (21-25.09.2016), a particular workshop was organized by the coordinator of the project and with the participation of collaborating archaeologists from the Ephorates of Antiquities of the island, entitled «Movements of objects, dissemination of practices through the study of the immured vessels in churches of Venetian Crete». During this workshop the preliminary results of the programme, regarding the island of Crete, were presented.

The contribution of the Foundation for Education and European Culture (IPEP) (Founders: N. Trichas and L. Trichas) to the needs of the programme was significant.